The Difference Between Hits & Visitors
Hits, unique visitors, visitors, visits, page views... what is really the difference?
A lot of people incorrectly use the term 'hits' when talking about or measuring the number of visitors to their website. In terms of measuring your website traffic, hits are really not very useful at all. Instead, you should be thinking in terms of the number of visits and unique visitors your site receives.
So let's take a look at the different terms and what they mean:
Defines a single person who visits a website any number of times in a fixed time frame, typically a 30 day period. For example, one unique visitor might make several separate visits to a website over a number of days, but will only be counted once. Sites often calculate unique visitors based on the 'IP address'(an IP address is a unique number that every computer connected to the internet is assigned).
- visitlancashire.com received nearly 1,000,000 unique visitors in the last 12 months.
A visit, on the other hand, is recorded every time that single person visits a website.
- On average visitors to visitlancashire.com return to the site 1.33 times each month, resulting in 1,330,000 visits in the last 12 months.
A pageview is counted each time a visitor views a different page on your website.
- On average visitlancashire.com's visitors views 5.5 pages per visit, so in the last 12 months we received nearly 5,500,000 page views.
The majority of web pages are made up of more than one file. For example, a page may contain text, several images, banner adverts, a piece of script, or any other type of file. In effect one visitor viewing one page on your site will result in many multiple hits.
- visitlancashire.com receives on average 12 hits per page view and therefore received over 38,000,000 hits in 2011!
This means that by reading this one page you have only caused one extra visit to be recorded in our web logs, but something in the region of twelve hits...
If you want to get a true measure of how many people are looking at your web site, you really need to look at the visitor figures in your web stats rather than the number of hits.
24 February 2012